By Craig Torres
Federal Reserve policymakers agreed last month that it would be appropriate to maintain a restrictive stance “for some time,” while acknowledging they were probably at the peak rate and would begin cutting in 2024.
“Participants viewed the policy rate as likely at or near its peak for this tightening cycle,” according to the minutes of the Dec. 12-13 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released Wednesday.
That said, officials “reaffirmed that it would be appropriate for policy to remain at a restrictive stance for some time until inflation was clearly moving down sustainably.”
Officials slowed the pace of rate increases last year after a series of rapid hikes in 2022. Inflation has cooled considerably, to 3.2% on an annual basis, as measured by the Fed’s preferred benchmark minus food and energy.
Participants pointed to six-month inflation readings, as well as growing signs of demand and supply coming into better balance.